Answers to FAQs
Mission: Our mission is to empower Oakland families to make informed choices about their public school options and make the process of selecting and enrolling in a charter public school easy, efficient and equitable.
Purpose: This document is intended to provide families with answers to commonly asked questions.
General Application Questions
How do I apply to a charter school?
Charter public schools throughout the city are using a common application called Enroll Oakland Charters. Through this website, you will be able to learn about your charter school options and complete a single application for multiple charter schools in Oakland. All you’ll need is a phone number and/or email address and some basic information to complete an application.
How do I find out what schools are in my neighborhood?
If you are already in the Enroll Oakland Charters online application system, you will see a list of charter schools closest to your home after entering your address. Alternately, you may use the Oakland School Finder tool to view a similar map that shows all public schools (both charter – blue graduation cap – and district – green graduation cap) in the city and includes a great deal of additional information about each school, including programs, transportation, demographics, and performance. To access School Finder click here, or copy and past www.oaklandfinder.schoolmint.net/school-chooser into the address bar of your browser.
What resources are available to help me apply?
Beginning Nov. 1, the family-friendly online application will be available at enrolloak.org. Beginning Nov. 13, families will also have access to:
- OUSD’s online application
- EOC;s paper applications in Spanish and English (through we are encouraging families to apply online instead. See below)
- School Finder
- Tips and tool for making the best use of School Finder (coming soon)
How do I learn more about Oakland’s charter schools?
To learn more about Oakland’s charter public schools and how they serve the community, click here to visit the FAQs page of Oakland Families for Quality Schools’ website.
Is the application available in multiple languages?
Both the district’s and EOC’s online applications are available in six languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, Spanish, Khmer & Vietnamese. EOC paper applications will be available in English and Spanish. However we strongly encourage families to apply online. It’s fast. Its easy and there is less chance for errors. And you can apply using your smartphone, laptop, notebook or desktop computer.
I already submitted an application to one school, can I apply to another school?
Yes. This can be done at any time within the SchoolMint pas long as its before midnight on February 16, 2018, the deadline to apply. Please remember that to be included in the school’s lottery process, you will need to complete your application by the deadline. Additional requests for schools received after the deadline will be considered on a first-come first-served basis.
What communication can I expect?
The Enroll Oakland Charters team will send you a message as soon as your application has been entered into our system. Between March 5 and 9, 2018, you will receive notification from each school you selected, informing you of their lottery results. Beyond that, communication may vary by school. It is important for you to keep your contact information current in your School Mint profile because that is how schools will communicate with you.
I am concerned about entering personal information into this website. Who else will have access to my data?
SchoolMint is a totally secure website used by families across the country to apply to schools. OUSD uses the very same platform for its online applications for traditional or district-run public schools. You won’t be asked to provide your Social Security number; only your name, relationship to student, address, phone number, email, student’s birth date, etc. This information will only be shared with schools that you apply to as well as Enroll Oakland Charters staff. Schools may use this information to contact you if they find mistakes, like incorrect birth dates or addresses, or if they find multiple profiles for the same students, and that is only to ensure all application information is entered correctly for the school lottery.
Does it matter when I submit my application?
Yes! The deadline to enroll for the 2018-19 school year is midnight January 26, 2018, for district-run schools, and February 16, 2018, for charter public schools. All applications received by the deadlines will be considered via a randomized lottery process in accordance with each school’s enrollment priorities. There is no advantage to submitting your application early , so we encourage you to take time to schedule school tours and open houses and you attend the eight enrollment fairs planned throughout the city in December and January
Access to the Online Application
Can someone walk me through how to complete an application online?
Yes, you may visit or call any participating Oakland charter public school, or call the Enroll Oakland Charters team at 510-454-9360 for support. Some schools will have parnet stations set up to guide families through the online application process.
I don’t have a computer. Can I use a paper application?
Although paper applications will be available at participating charter public schools, we are encouraging all families to apply online. Its fast, easy and there’s less change of mistakes. Plus we save and tree and the environment.
I don’t have an email address, and only use a landline – can I still apply?
You will need an email address or a mobile phone number for communication purposes. You can use a relative’s or friend’s contact information (mobile phone number and/or email address) for login purposes if you don’t have one of your own. Much of the communication that will come from schools regarding the status of your application will be via email or text message, so we want to ensure that you have access to this information. It’s easy to get a free email address. Click here for a list of the Top Ten providers, and sign up today!
How do I log-in to the online application system?
Applying to Multiple Schools — Charter and/or OUSD
I am interested in applying to two different charter schools. Do I need to go to both schools/websites to complete applications?
No. This year, over 90% of charter schools in Oakland are participating in a common application. If you visit enrolloak.org, you can apply to multiple schools with a single application. We encourage you to visit Oakland’s online School Finder first (also accessible via enrolloak.org) to learn more about your school options.
What does the ranking mean? For instance, will I have a greater chance of admittance to the school I rank #1?
No. Unless you are applying to multiple schools that are managed by one charter network, your school rankings will have no bearing on your chances of getting in to your preferred school(s). This year, school ranking information is simply being collected for informational purposes. If you are applying to more than one school operated by a Charter Management Organization, the ranking information may be used to help place your student in his or her most-preferred campus.
If I complete an application at the OUSD enrollment center, do I need to complete another application?
If you completed an application through OUSD, then you applied to a traditional public school(s). If you are interested in applying to a charter public school too, you can apply to one or more Oakland charter schools by completing the Enroll Oakland Charters common application at enrolloak.org.
I created a SchoolMint account for my OUSD application. Do I need to create a separate account to apply to a charter school?
While there is a separate application process for applying to traditional public schools (through OUSD), they are also utilizing the SchoolMint platform for their online applications. As such, you may use the same login and password and will be given the opportunity to toggle between the OUSD system and the EOC system.
I have two children that I’d like to complete applications for. Do I complete separate applications for each?
Yes, you must complete one application per child, but will be able to do so under your one online account. In your account profile, you may add as many children as needed to accurately represent your family and will then be able to select any child and submit an application on his/her behalf. It is important to set-up your family profile this way because some charter schools provide preference for siblings who are applying together.
I submitted an application for Child 1, how do I complete an application for Child 2?
Log into your SchoolMint account. There you will find the option to add another child. Once you provide their basic information, you will be able to select specific schools to apply to.
Technical Support and Updating Applications
How do I reset my password?
If you’ve already created an account, select “Forgot Username?” or “Forgot Password?” if you are unsure of your login credentials.
I entered the wrong birthdate for my child. How do I fix it?
You will be able to make updates to your profile and your student applications up until February 17, 2017. To make changes, simply log-in to your SchoolMint account with your username and password, select the child whose information is incorrect, and make necessary edits.
Do I need to create a new SchoolMint account if my contact information changes?
No, you do not need to create a new account. It is, however, very important to keep your SchoolMint account updated with current contact information. To do so, log-into your existing SchoolMint account with your current credentials and you’ll be able to update your contact information.
Application Submission & Next Steps
How do I know if I’ve successfully applied?
You will receive confirmation of your application submission via email and/or text message (depending on the communication preferences you indicated in your application). You can also login to your SchoolMint profile at any time to see which schools you’ve applied to. Once you’ve submitted an application, there is no need to resubmit.
Why didn’t I receive confirmation of my application submission?
You will receive confirmation of your application submission via email and/or text message (depending on the communication preferences you indicated in your application). If you haven’t received a confirmation, we’d recommend you login to your SchoolMint profile to view the status of your application. If it says “Pending”, it is likely that you still need to hit the “Submit” button on the last page in order to complete your application.
If I submit a paper application, how will I know if I have been accepted?
Once you submit a paper application, someone from the school or the EOC team will create an online profile for you and submit the application on your behalf. This will happen within one week of submitting your application. You will receive notification of the application submission via email and/or text message, so be sure to include accurate contact information on your paper application. If you submitted your application prior to the February 17th deadline, the school(s) to which you applied will notify you of their lottery results between March 6th and 17th. You will have until March 30th to accept or decline any enrollment offers your child receives. Second Round applicants (i.e., those who apply after February 17th) are enrolled on a first-come first-served basis and will be notified by schools shortly after applying.
How do I accept my seat?
When the school(s) contact you to let you know if your child is being offered enrollment, they will give you specific instructions as to how to accept or decline their offer. All families who submitted their application prior to the February 17th deadline are asked to accept or decline their offer(s) no later than March 30, 2017.
I have submitted my application. When do I register?
When the school(s) contact you to let you know if your child is being offered enrollment, they will give you specific instructions about next steps, including registration.
Do I need to provide documents to verify the details of my application?
Yes, but usually only after you have accepted your offer for enrollment. At that time or later, schools may ask that you present certain documents for verification purposes (for example, proof of address, copy of birth certificate, etc.).
More Questions About Oakland Charter Public Schools
Please visit Oakland Families for Quality Schools to learn more about Oakland charter public schools, oaklandfamilies.org.